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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NYC Guide: How to flag a cab

For anyone who doesn't know, here are five easy steps to flagging a taxi...

1. Step into the street. It might sound dangerous, but it's not: Standing a few feet into the street is the only way cabs will spot you around parked cars, trees and pedestrians.
2. Look for a free cab. To tell if a cab is free, look at the lights on the top of the cab. If the cab is free, the middle light will be on. If the cab is taken, all the lights will be off. If the cab is off-duty, the top side lights will be on (and will spell out "off duty").
3. Raise your hand. Once you see a free cab, just raise your hand. That's it! P.S. If you want to look cool: New Yorkers are hilariously nonchalant about holding up their arms. To look like a local, put up your arm and don't make any facial expression. Look directly at the cab. Once the cab sees you and starts heading your way, put your arm down. You know the cab is coming, the cab knows it's coming. Rest that tired arm. :)
4. When you climb into the cab, give the driver the cross streets of your destination. For example, instead of saying, "I'm going to 88 Second Avenue," you would say, "I'm going to Second Avenue, between 5th and 6th." That makes it much easier for your driver to know exactly where to take you. (Also, feel free to chat with the driver; most of the time, they're awesome and have good stories.)
5. When you arrive at your destination, have your money ready, along with a 15-20% tip. And, for safety, always get out of the door on the sidewalk side of the cab—not on the street side—even if it means sliding over on the backseat.

That's it! Cabs can feel so romantic and cinematic, I love taking them. Any other helpful tips about taxis? Or funny stories? Anyone ever make out in a cab? :)

(Lego photo by the brilliant Christoph Niemann; cab photos by Joseph O. Holmes, the Sartorialist, De Vetpan and Free People)

318 comments:

1 – 200 of 318   Newer›   Newest»
FanFamFun said...

you forgot to mention to shout terrible words and shake your fists at the cab when they drive past you as you stand in the pouring rain with a new baby. ;) x

sherri lynn said...

I am loving your NYC guide, Joanna! So glad to know these cab tips for next time I'm in the city :)

Danielle M. said...

Another tip -- never pay your cabbie before he/she takes your luggage out of the trunk. I learned that lesson the hard way when a cab driver zipped off before I could get my bags. I ran after the cab like a lunatic. Never did get my stuff back:(

Joanna Goddard said...

oh, yes, britt, that's right! :) haha, cabs sometimes sail by new moms because they don't want to deal with the car seat--drag!! once i hid the car seat behind a lamp post before flagging the cab.

K said...

Or what to do when someone "up streets you", a la Curb your Enthusiasm!

I'm sure you're going to get many comments like these pointing out the variety of cab pet peeves.

Great posts!

junebug said...

Amen to all those great tips. I'm curious, do you take Toby in cabs with no car seat? I always feel like cabs are a special car realm where you can't get hurt. I never wear a seatbelt, but I usually do put them on my [older] kids.

Diana Mieczan said...

Those are awesome tips, Joanna and the lego demo made me giggle:) Totally cool. Have a great day. Btw: I think, taxi drivers all around the world love to chat. Sometimes after a 20 minute drive I feel like we are best friends showing photos of family to each other..haha.

Anna said...

Who HASN'T made out in the back of a cab?

sbt said...

Joanna, I've had issues with cabs in NY where they'll stop and ask where I'm going, and then say they don't want to go there. Is that allowed? One time that happened to me with 3 different cabs, so the 4th time, I got INTO the cab before telling him where I needed to go. He was not happy, but at that point I wasn't getting out!

Jeannie said...

and don't forget to look before you open the door, lest you "door" a poor soul on their bike.

Chitowngrrrl said...

I'm really loving your guide!

I have two cab stories. The first is that after a night out I was in a feeling-sorry-for-single-self mood and ended up giving the cab driver my phone number when he asked for it. He was actually a really cool guy (moved to Chicago from Africa, teaching classes at a local college and rehabbing an old house), but I decided I wasn't in a good place to be dating just then (see: giving your # to your cab driver at 2 a.m.) so I didn't call him back.

My second cab story is that my now husband and I shared our first kiss in the back of a cab. :-)

what dee says said...

If you live in New York, you've made out in a cab. It's pretty much inevitable.

hello, Friday said...

This is such a fun post. xoxo

http://hellofridaybypaik.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Found your post inspiration here?

http://kensingtonblue.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-hail-cab-in-new-york-city.html

Joanna Goddard said...

anonymous, that's a great link! it wasn't my inspiration, though -- this is my own and different list. i'm sure there are lots of how-to-flag-cab posts on the web:)

clementimes said...

This is great!

Speaking of you not taking the subway and taking cabs instead, did your 20/20 story ever get aired about your elevator and subway phobia?

Joanna Goddard said...

junebug, yeah, i take a car seat for toby, because when we take cabs, it's usually to a pretty far destination (all the way uptown or to brooklyn or something). so it's far enough of a drive to make me really want to take the seat.

but i know a bunch of moms who take their babies in the ergo for short drives... xo

Joanna Goddard said...

clementimes, yes!! haha, but then i got too shy to post it!!

Michelle P said...

Wow these are great tips!

Joanna Goddard said...

Chitowngrrrl, that is adorable!!

camille said...

@junebug: Not to be a downer, but a friend of my sister's died in a taxi accident. She was seating in the back and wasn't wearing her seat belt. So I'd recommend you always, always buckle up. :/

Joanna Goddard said...

sbt, that's technically not allowed (drivers are required to take you anywhere in the 5 boroughs), but cab drivers can do what they want on the streets sort of :) good job just getting right on in!

camille said...

[I meant "She was sITTing."]

DENISE. said...

Yay! I do it right. OK big question -- and maybe for another post topic: Why do you tip when they aren't helping with luggage etc? You can't just round up? I'm always fascinated with what becomes common practice and who you tip and who you don't tip.

Sarah said...

Wow there is a lot to know! I would be totally lost if you didn't post this. It's almost intimidating! But so exciting. I can't wait to go!

- Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/

Kate said...

Oh my gosh, so many cab tips!!

Please wear your seat belts. There are loads of accidents every year and you are going to be MUCH better off with yours on!

Please pay in cash. Although they now have the credit card machines, it is the driver who ends up paying the credit card fee (roughly 5%). They are some of the lowest paid workers on NYC and every cent counts. Read Taxi!: Cabs and Capitalism in NYC for a fascinating discussion of the taxi world...

L.O. Ratliff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jodi said...

perfect!

Smith And Ratliff said...

The biggest tip: get in the cab before you tell them where you're going. They do have to take you anywhere in the five boroughs, so if you wait until you're in the cab before you tell them where you want to go, well, good luck getting you out!

elizabeth marley said...

A tip for all the cab riders out there!

If you're with someone wearing a skirt or a dress and you're in pants (looking at you, men), get in the cab first. It's so annoying to have to SLIDE in and then rearrange your entire situation so your skirt isn't twisted up around your waist.

Seriously, the ladies will thank you.

Kate said...

On the subject of cabbies who ask where you are going before they let you in, you will frequently see cabs with the Off Duty lights on do this (allowed if the off duty light are on). They are in a hurry to get the cab back to the garage in time, but will pick you up if you are headed in the right direction. Just go with the system...as it usually coincides with those dreaded hours when cab shifts switch and not a cab is to be found.

junebug said...

@ camille: Life is so fragile, and sometimes, especially living in NYC, we think we're bulletproof. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. And thank you for the reminder that we all need to take better care.

Lisa said...

i go to new york a few times a year and i always try to be prepared when getting in a cab and give the cross streets.. but what if you don't have them or get them mixed up, will you end up somewhere else??

also- i saw your 20/20 ... i was like wait!! i read her blog!! ... telling my husband. you shouldn't be shy to post about it. in fact, i would like to hear more about it. its something i can relate to... and have similar issues about. in fact, its why i get so nervous when going to the city, etc. and avoid it... which makes me miss out on a lot of things. would love to hear more about it and how you deal with it. best wishes.

Holly said...

Cabs in DC will pick up other people and load them in even with another paying customer in the car already- and just drop them off after the original customer. Is this something that alos happens in NYC? drives me crazy!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

My husband (decidedly NOT a city guy) just had his first cab ride (at age 38) while we were in Boston. Our cab driver drove like a typical cabbie (ie - a littl haphazzardly). Since my husband thinks he's James Bond, he envisioned and joked about out cabbie being a secret spy for a rogue government and he was going to drive us to some secret underground lair to torture us or was going to jump out of the car and it would explode with us inside, just like in a 007 movie. This fantasy was had by a man (my husband) who also puts on a James Bond soundtrack in the car when he's late to work and pictures himself driving faster than he should to go save some Bond girl or uncloak some secret weapons smuggler or something. Oh, boys.

Moonlight said...

No funny stories here, but I just had to say that this reminds me of taxi flagging in Athens, Greece.
...except the tipping, and the "most times they are awesome" parts! :p

clementimes said...

Aww, don't be shy! You should post the 20/20 interview. If not, I'll have to do some googling and find it on their site. :)

Chessa! said...

I used to take Lucia in her carseat in the cab when she was really little and she sat in the car seat in her stroller. now that she's older, if it's a short ride she sits on my lap. I don't ever feel good about it but the car seat lives in our car and it's so heavy anyway. we rarely take cabs with her though. if she comes with us to where ever we're going that requires a car ride of some sort we end up driving. it ends up costing the same, if not more, money in cabs to get to our destination than it would be to just drive and either find a parking space or park in a garage.

and yes, my husband and I made out in a cab on our first date when he dropped me off at home. we laugh about that still. :)

JCross01 said...

joanna - i saw your 20/20 article and really i was relieved in a way to know that someone experiences the same feelings that i do! don't be shy!

also - am loving these NYC posts! can't wait to go back to visit :)

gabrielle said...

any advice for gracefully handling a cab driver who wont take you to brooklyn?

xxoo
www.paperplanesandmaryjanes.com

Kel said...

I have been loving these NY guide posts! Makes me want to take a trip. I love that city. Thanks for the travel inspiration :).

Anonymous said...

I love the lego cabs! what a brilliant idea.

Giulia said...

Maybe someone already mentioned it but don't try to take a cab from someone waiting (also defend yourself from having it done to you).

I once moved in a cab...in DC. Also I've more than once got my Xmas tree that way. I go to & from the vet w/Julie the Cat in a cab....lotsa stories.

Jennifer King said...

Haha. I almost didn't read this post because I live in Texas and the only time I ever use a cab is if I call for it myself. But then I figured I'd be back in NYC pretty soon and would need to know this stuff! Love the tips. I liked the one especially about holding your hand up without making a facial expression to look like a true New Yorker! Made me laugh out loud a bit :)

London Bride said...

Wish I knew these tips when I was there a few months ago. Seriously? 10-15% tip? Yikes, they must hate me. Londoners are not used to that but I have now duly noted :)

Liz said...

One other tip: As you near your destination, your driver will usually ask "Left or Right?" or "Near corner far corner?" and it's often quick and unintelligible, because they say it so often. Totally threw me off when I first moved here!

What they want to know is, would you like to be dropped off on the near corner or far corner of the street, and on what side of the street is your destination? If you're just here on vacation and you don't know exactly where you need to be dropped off, feel free to say "It doesn't matter" and they'll drop you off where it's convenient for them. Otherwise, be specific, and speak loudly and clearly. That plastic partition makes for lots of awkward "what?" and "huh?" coming from the front seat if you're timid with your requests :)

London Bride said...

Oops, meant to say 15-20% yikes...

Also, we had over 5 cabs refuse us to Brooklyn. Naughty naughty.

Rachel said...

Coming from LA I'll never NOT feel totally awkward hailing a cab. Love the lego picture though!

The Postage Service said...

- To again, avoid looking like a tourist, don't stand in the street with your hand up if there are clearly no available cabs as far as the eye can see!!!

- Also, a cab driver must take you anywhere you want to go within the 5 boroughs. If they pull up and roll down the window and ask where you're going, just get in and tell them once you're inside. Otherwise if you're going somewhere they don't want to go they will drive away.

- I finally worked out a standard system for tipping... $1.00 for rides under $10, $2.00 for rides under $20, $3.00 for rides under $30. Sometimes this works out to be on the low end, sometimes on the high, but it's a lot easier than doing math when you're in a hurry, and you can always adjust if you had a particularly good (or bad) trip.

- ps - I'm always telling tourists (leaving hotel with suitcases) trying to hail a cab at the corner of Washington St. and Jane St. to go upstream to Washington and Horatio St. where there is an unofficial neighborhood taxi line. Otherwise they could be waiting forever (especially in the morning) while cabs pick up a steady stream of passengers one block before reaching them. So, if it seems every cab that drives by is taken, maybe take a look around you to see if there's a logical reason why (other than rush hour).

- Last but not least it is AWESOME that now you can route out your destination on a smartphone and make sure you're not being taken on a 'ride' too far off course!

JBergum said...

Only one funny story, when I visited my friend in Chicago we got a cab to take us back to her house from the bar - the cabbie was awesome! Turned on some dance tunes really loud for us so we could continue an "after bar" in the cab! Funnest cab ride ever!

I also have many horror stories about cabs I've taken in Thailand, Hong Kong and Morocco - but that's another post! :)

Heather said...

I have such a love / hate relationship with nyc taxis. Love the splurge of being in a taxi (i had a very bad habit of taking one to work everyday), but i hated it when I couldnt get one and/or they wouldn't take me to Bklyn. It's always interesting when there are a few different people hailing at the same time. I usually walk a few blocks down to avoid it.

BTW, i totally want to hear about filming for 20/20 too. I had a friend with an elevator phobia as well and we got trapped in an elevator together. (All was fine, building security was great about talking her through it over the mic).

The Girlie Blog said...

Excellent guide. Thank you!

The Vox said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm moving to NYC (never been, I know that's bad), but I'm super excited to read your guide! I need ways for me not to make myself look like I'm not a local, so this will be good for me, lol.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time posting a comment on your blog, but I just have to let you know that your guide has me dreaming of an NYC vacation. Also, in case your readers are wondering how to hail a cab in Montana it goes a little something like this:
1-call the cab company (there is only one and it only has 1 cab)
2-wait 1-2 hours for the cab to show up (or longer if you are trying to get home from the bars at closing)

hee hee : )

Stephanie said...

I'm pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of times I've taken a cab in New York! More often than not I take the subway, which I've gotten surprisingly comfortable with, considering how intimidated I was at first. I'd much rather walk or take a train than a car. Traffic in New York usually makes me want to stab someone in the face, doesn't matter whether I'm the driver or the passenger. :-P

Elisabeth said...

Last time I was in NYC, I raised my arm and a car service pulled over to take me to my destination. He took me and my girlfriend to our destination and told us to always ask the price BEFORE getting into a car service car. He let us ride free of charge!

Also, my first car ride was from Penn Station to JFK. At one point the cab driver asked me for cash for the toll. I couldn't really understand him and I only had twenties (rookie mistake). He was able to add the toll to my fare but it caught me off guard. :)

Tia said...

My last visit there it was pouring rain and all the cabs I hailed down refused to take me JF!! I was so upset and almost missed my flight bc of it! They make more money in the city than they do on the flat fate to the airport. This has to be a new thing in the city, bc I dont remember ever having issues getting a cab to the airports when U lived there.

Lesson learned - Take a car service instead of taxi to the airports!!

Silverstone.lt Jewelry said...

Nice pictures:)

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Joanna said...

And speaking of NY, Jo, have you been to the Occupy Wall Street rally? I wish I were in NY and could go!

Alexa said...

I've been in NYC for one year now and I still get excited about taxi rides!

And I haven't made out in a taxi, but it does seem like an item on the list! :)

vanessa (the gal) said...

Man I could have used these tips my first time to New York! My first cab experience (a few years ago) was a little embarrassing. I flagged the guy down and as my mom and I went to get into the taxi an older lady (in a gorgeous floor length mink) marched right up, grabbed the door handle right under my hand, and jack-moved my cab!!! The lady must have been 90 years old and kick my ass in this cab-flagging situation. So we walked. My mom and I still joke about it. :)

xo- vanessa

http://fashiongalfireman.blogspot.com

Lindsay Jewell said...

Cabs are such a foreign concept to me, being from the Portland area. We just don't use them that much, so I always feel a little overwhelmed when I go to places that rely on them. I love this guide, thank you. :)

Esther said...

Sooo helpful, going to follow your advice when we come to NYC in December

Violet Boutique said...

I love these guides! I just got back from NYC on Sunday so I am really enjoying seeing your favorite spots. We walked the high line and it was so cool, especially seeing the Standard hotel.

Also went to Co for pizza - delish! But the taxi guide is so bang on! For the longest time whenever I visited NYC I was always so perplexed by the lights! Still a bit perplexed about that magic witching hour when ALL the cabs are off duty!

Also have had some wonderful cab drivers, major characters. One in particular who wore a full length fur coat and more accessories then I would ever dream of wearing - was kind enough to take a pic with us too!

Thanks again for these guides!
xo - Genevieve

Tigercub said...

Here's another great cab tip from the "New York Faux Pas" thread on Quora:

I've seen more petty spats over this than over just about anything else in New York; don't steal another's cab. But how, you might ask, should one know a cab's rightful owner? It's simple. Taxi possession works on a territorial, first-come-first-serve system. If someone is trying to hail a cab on the street, he has established his territory there, so don't infringe by trying to hail one there too. Going farther up the stream of traffic to cut him off is also taboo. The polite distance varies by location and time. In Midtown at rush hour and the Lower East at 2am, a block is standard; early mornings in residential neighborhoods can require two full blocks or more.

Cathi said...

I love catching cabs in NYC and SF - it is like being in a movie! Great tips, thanks for sharing this! xxoo :)

BeeBeeZfa said...

This is wonderful! Thank you so much. I have never been to NY but the Hubby loves it there. I have always wondered how to do this!

Maddy said...

i live in brooklyn and coming in from manhattan, every now and then i get a grumble. i just say, great, i would be happy to take your cab and license number and report you to the new york taxi workers alliance. knowing that this leads to a fine, it usually gets me where i need to go.

also, my sister is the woman who gave birth in a cab about a year and a half ago. i carry a special place in my heart for that driver.

Anonymous said...

In spite of visiting NY and hailing cabs several time, you are the first person to teach me about the lights. I never got that! Thank-you.

Hilary said...

Thanks so much for the advice! I'm headed to NYC tomorrow and we were just wondering about what an appropriate tip would be. This was great!

Emikos Werid Unexplained thoughts said...

I have to say i never knew about the colors on the top of the taxi and I am a new yorker! lol thank you for telling me. I also am the queen of flagging the taxi down. my friends who i take along get very afraid and try to pull me out the street. me beating them with my purse some how attracts a taxi lol thanks for the blog i am showing them all this one.

Anonymous said...

An important addition: cabs are legally required to take you anywhere in the five boroughs that you want to go. They have a monopoly on street hails, among other perks, so in return, they legally must take you where you want to go in the city.

So, if a cab driver pulls over and asks where you're going, get in first, and then say where. If it's somewhere "undesirable" (Brooklyn, Queens, or really, anywhere not between Soho and 96th St), they will often drive off, like jerks. And if they say, "I don't go to Brooklyn," say "Yes, you do," and point to the Passenger's Bill of Rights. It'll seem scary, but cabbies love to push around tourists/the timid and will usually back down without a fuss (but maybe with a grumble) if you don't let them. You can do it!

Brooklyn's great, come visit us! (Though trains are the better option!)

Sadie said...

Hmm, I will keep this in mind, as an NY vacation may be in my future! But I'm confused- what's the difference between a car service and cabs? My experience with cabs is limited to once in Chicago, once in Tokyo, and twice in the middle of nowhere in northern Missouri!

By the way- Tokyo cabs are a bit pricey, but they all, even the most macho of drivers, have little lace doilies covering the headrests! It's so adorable that it's almost worth it.

DaniFineporcupine said...

Thank you so much Joanna, I'm loving this NY guide too much! Makes me wanna hop on a plane from California right...now!

Renata Mentor said...

I am taking my baby girl and her stroller... How drivers work with that? (the base and car seat) Am I in trouble?

Melissa Blake said...

Joanna, I've always wondered if cabs are handicapped accessible...when I was in NYC years ago, I didn't see any larger cabs that would have room for a wheelchair. But maybe that's changed?

Either way, your guide is making me want to go on vacation! :)

Allison said...

Haven't read through all the comments, so forgive me if these additional tips are already in there. First, at certain times of day (shift change time, prayer time), a taxi that has both on and off duty lights may take you to your destination if it's not too far away. Second, if you're going a long way (like to Brooklyn from Manhattan), get in the cab first before you reveal your destination. Even though taxis are required to take you there, some won't if you give them the chance to drive away before you get in. And yes, of course I've made out in the back of a cab. Not lately, though...I should remedy that.

Reyna @fashionmist♥ said...

These are great tips! xx

Anonymous said...

My experience with NYC cabs was great, although I could never figure out the light thing people kept pointing to. Your legos explain it well! We discovered there is a maximum number of passengers cabs in NYC can take, so we had to split our group of 6 people into two cabs. Here at home we would all pile into one cab. We were surprised how cheap cabs were there.

My bad cab story happened in Chicago, not NYC.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I am taking a cab it is usually a pretty good distance, so I never tell the driver where I am going until I am in the cab. At that point it's illegal for them to kick me out.

Lindsay said...

I have to tell you the legos are hilarious and very clever. I love NY... grew up in the northeast and lived in Manhattan for 5 years before moving to the burbs (3 kids). And this is a great resource guide! Because of it I just created my NYC travel file and using your recommendations, I'm planning my trip as a proud tourist. I forwarded to all the non-blog readers I know. This will get them hooked! Thanks. Great posts!!

feq said...

It so curious how each city has your own "get-a-cab" etiquette! Thank you for the tips!

I was wondering...which car seat do you use with Toby? My daughter will outgrow her Snugride pretty soon and we are thinking which car seat would be the easiest to install on taxis (we don't have a car)....

Francesca said...

thank you for the tipping tip especially. we are coming to nyc (from london) in a few weeks to visit our best friends and i always get a little panicked about tipping. any other tipping info would be appreciated!

p.s. 15 - 20%. wow!

Collections said...

Loving these NYC guides particularly the picture of the lego cabs!

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Bronwyn said...

Haha, great advice! I really like hailing cabs - not entirely sure why...

windeater.blogspot.com

Brigette Olmos-Arreola said...

such helpful tips, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Awesome cab story for you: We went to NYC for our honeymoon 9 years ago. My husband had never been and I was excited to show him what little I know about the city. We took a cab into town from Newark at about 1 am, and about 3 blocks from our destination (LES) it was repo'd! Seriously - a tow truck with lights flashing cut in front of us, made the cab stop, and repo'd it right there. Luckily, it was a very nice repo guy and he said that he would follow the cabbie the few blocks to let us off, then also offered the cabbie a ride to the subway so he could get home, while his cab was towed away. We pulled up, with tow truck with lights flashing behind us, at our hotel. Club on the street level is hopping, and everyone stops to stare at us getting out with our luggage and what is going on, while the tow truck hitches up the cab right there. Incredible. I assured my husband that that doesn't usually happen, but we still took the subway most of the trip.

photohogger said...

I love taking cabs; anywhere I go...except when they smell like barf in the backseat.

:)

Emily said...

super cute post. i love all of your tips and tricks!

http://www.thestylemaponline.com/

NatashaNicole said...

I really enjoyed reading this post and all of the comments :) thanks for all the advice! xx the Garage Gypsy blog

Joy said...

This makes me miss Hong Kong so much! It's so much easier flagging down a taxi there and it's much cheaper over without having to pay the whopping 15% tip!

Bek W said...

Ohh I don't live in NY - but everyone's comments were so much fun to read :)

sarah said...

Aw, I love this post. Definitely makes me miss NY. I like Los Angeles, but it's not the same.

Fond memory of getting out of a bar for a friend's birthday around sunrise, in LES, then hopping in a cab and driving alongside the river up to my tiny shack of a place in East Harlem (woohoo, that was fun).

Or rushing around in towncars (I know, not the same as a cab) with garment bags that one summer I interned at a fashion magazine. Very Devil Wears Prada, minus the evil boss.

Anonymous said...

once a cab driver spent the whole ride facing me and not the road, he offered to marry me. it made for a funny story after I got safely to my destination

Ali said...

one more tip: always scan the backseat when you exit the cab to make sure you didn't leave anything behind. once your phone/passport/bag drive off, you're probably not getting it back :0)

Maria said...

Great tip! And thanks for the warning on the MASSIVE tip.

Maria xx
www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

Bailey said...

What a wonderful post - cabs are so much part of the city that it immediately took me back to the years I spent there, and two cab stories in particular:

1) A cab driver asked me to marry him by the end of the ride (I declined, but was flattered nonetheless)

2) On the way to my birthday party my cab driver told me he was an ex-KGB member. I had to swear not to tell anyone. He had been friends with Alexander Litvinenko (the KGB defector who was supposedly poisoned in London). I felt I was starring in my very own action movie!

http://buryanddiscover.blogspot.com/

Liv said...

I really like taking a taxi. Then the difference between India, Japan and NY is quite funny. I know it has been done but still many of the drivers' stories could make a good movie.

Tulips & Tulle said...

What a great post! I'm loving the NYC tips!

Tulips&Tulle

Nicole said...

The Nonchalant Arm tip is so true...my mom, sister and I had SUCH a difficult time hailing a cab that when we finally managed it, I grilled the driver and got the scoop. Our problem? We were WAVING our arm, not holding it up. The more cabs zoomed past, the more frantically we waved our arms. Once we held up an arm and acted like we didn't care if the taxi stopped or not, we were golden.

Angel Court Jewels... said...

I love talking to the taxi drivers. Last week my friend and I ended up talking to the driver for another 5 minutes after we arrived at the destination. And the meter was turned off. What a nice guy!

xoxo,
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Caro said...

GREAT! Love this. I would also mention to be careful not to hit a delivery guy on his bike when you open the door. I always make sure to check if one is coming on the sidewalk side before I get out.

Mighty Burns said...

Oh my gosh I love these legos! your adorable. Such good advice. i look forward to much kissing in a cab ride home when I move to NYC :)
whats your thoughts on cab vs subway?

Emma said...

You are absolutely my all-time favourite blogger!! You are so full of ideas and eloquence - you must live the most inspired life...
xxx

Joanna Goddard said...

oh, emma, thank you!!!

Joanna Goddard said...

mightyburns--i usually ride my bike, but i'll take the bus or a cab if i'm going a really long distance or it's raining. i actualy don't take the subway because i'm super claustrophobic (i know, it's crazy:)

Joanna Goddard said...

i LOVE all these hilarious cab stories!!!! omg, i'm laughing out loud. marriage proposals! amazing. and vanessa (the gal), that old lady was a killer! so, so funny.

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Joanna, your blog is really a nice one! The comments are also very interesting. It's true that the drivers are sometimes very grumpy, but there are some who know the courtesy and are very friendly. You know, everywhere, in every profession we will see people with various temperaments. What do you say!
Your tips for hiring taxis are very easy and good also.

Lola said...

A tip from an outer boro gal: if you're heading to Queens (Long Island City or Astoria, say) you can try and hail down an off-duty cab. Lots of them are heading to Queens anyway and are happy to take one more fare on their way home! If you look like you know what you're doing and where you're going, they'll pull over and ask "Astoria"?

And always remember: Triboro= toll, Queensboro bridge = no toll! If you're crossing the Queensboro make sure to ask the cab driver to take the upper roadway, so you can take in the Manhattan skyline a la The Great Gatsby.

Maryanne said...

I grew up mainly taking buses or the subway, but once in a while when we're back in the city we'll take a cab. There are now minivan cabs, but with our then 4 kids (now 5) usually about half our group will hang back til the cab stops, then we'll all pile in. Otherwise they may never stop for us!

A Lil Bit Of Everything said...

I havent been to NYC since I was like 8, and im 24, so i hardly remember anything about it! im canadian NYC is maybe 13-14 hrs you post these week def make me wanna yell ' ROADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD TRIP!' and now that I have all the 'cool' / 'hot spots' i Really wanna go, that and make out ina NYC cab, just seems a lil more acceptable then any other cab!

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days of dee tresna said...

i don't like taxi, i prefer subway coz i like train

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The yellow New York cab is an iconic pop culture fixture. When you see the yellow cab, there’s an instant association with Manhattan and Broadway. Your tips are very helpful for people who will be having their first trip to New York. The streets can be very busy, so you better be ready. Anyway, riding a New York taxi is a worthwhile experience in itself. Just hop in and enjoy the ride.

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This reminds me of my favorite book! Taxi Driver Wisdom. I live by it, and my friends and I took it upon ourselves to ask every taxi driver we met in college for a piece of advice. I wrote them all down and love to look back. My favorite tip was "Love is not about finding the right person, it's about becoming the right person."

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Choco Pie said...

Let's see... I can add a couple more things. 5 o'clock pm is the shift switch time so it's really difficult to catch a non "off-duty" cab then. I asked a driver once how they decide who to stop for. He said someone who is (1) not too drunk and likely to throw up in the car, and (2) someone who looks like she knows where she's going so there isn't lots of ummm time and driving around. So stand up straight and don't look wobbly :)

It's hard to pick up a yellow cab IN Queens (probably so for other outer borroughs too?) so you may have to call a car service or try your chances with a random one. Get the price before you take off. It helps to know the average rate. There's a lot of debate on whether you have to tip car services on top of the negotiated rate. I usually don't. unless the guy really charms my pants off or does something special. I once had a driver who'd set up his back seat like a lobby with magazines in the pockets. Another one with mood lights who handed me a fresh bottle of water. I've had male friends who were offered a meeting with "special ladies". That stuff cracks me up!

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Thanks for sharing this! I am sure these steps will help me to hail a taxi in Richmond. I have never even been in a taxi let alone ever hailed a taxi, so I am super nervous. Wish me luck!

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